Mary hard fork will finally bring native asset support to Cardano, a move that will unlock decentralized finance on the network

On February 3 at 20:00 UTC, one of the two hard forks set to transition Cardano from Shelley to Goguen, Mary. This is a long-awaited hard fork, bring native asset support to Cardano, a move that will unlock decentralized finance on the network.

What is Mary hard fork?

Mary hard fork is a major upgrade that unlocks a whole new world of opportunities both to the Cardano community and the businesses and institutions using the blockchain. This will effectively transform the Cardano testnet into a truly multi-asset network, enabling users to issue and distribute their own tokens on the Cardano blockchain.

The hard fork will bring Cardano one step closer to smart contracts on Goguen

At the end of February, a similar upgrade will be rolled out to the Cardano mainnet, unlocking the blockchain’s smart contract functionality.

Unlike other blockchain networks, which handle token issuance through smart contracts, Cardano handles crypto natively. This means the logic behind Cardano token issuance is based on the Cardano ledger itself, eliminating the need to build additional layers on top of the blockchain.

The user-defined tokens on Ethereum, created according to the ERC-20 and ERC-721 standards, are fundamentally different from ETH. Cardano, on the other hand, supports natively user-defined tokens, which means there is no need to add custom code on top of the blockchain.

In addition, it also allows those assets to function almost exactly like ADA, the native currency of blockchain. The only difference between any tokens issued on Cardano and ADA is that the tokens can be destroyed, and only ADA can be used for service fees, rewards, and deposits.

The fact that the native assets on Cardano are integrated into the ledger is set to revolutionize decentralized finance. On Cardano, transactions between tokens and the native asset incur no execution fees, making DeFi applications much more affordable.

IOHK believes that delivering tokens without the inherent flaws of custom-coded smart contracts can make them very interesting for organizations and businesses looking to explore blockchain.

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